Shop Cheap

Sharing the best prices on groceries and other stuff in the Sacramento region.

May 28, 2009
What to do with all that chicken on sale
Before we get started with our recipes for the week, check out this website that super-researcher Sheila Kern found. It's definitely one to save on the "favorites."
It's called "Fifty Things to Do With Leftover Chicken" and you can find it at:

And here's what we came up with for the week. Great chicken recipes and cantaloupe, too. Enjoy!

Whole Chicken Crock Pot Recipe


Serves 4


4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 large roasting chicken

1 cup onion, chopped (optional)


1. In a small bowl, combine the spices.

2. Remove any giblets from chicken and clean chicken.

3. Rub spice mixture onto the chicken.

4. Place in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. (I usually skip this step because I'm always in a hurry).

5. When ready to cook, put chopped onion in bottom of crock pot.

6. Add chicken. No liquid is needed, the chicken will make it's own juices.

7. Cook on low 4-8 hours.

Orange-Onion Burst Roasted Chicken Recipe



1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs, dry

2 tablespoons chopped green onion (scallions)

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

1 tablespoon fresh, minced chives

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fresh, minced rosemary

1/2 teaspoon fresh, minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cleaned roasting chicken, about 4 1/2 lbs

Salt and pepper

1/2 medium orange, quartered


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the breadcrumbs, green onion, red onions, chives, oil, orange juice, soy sauce, rosemary, parsley and cumin into a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Clean, wash and dry your chicken. Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken, inside and out. Baste entire chicken, inside and out, generously with the onion mixture.

Pour half of the remaining onion mixture into the chicken cavity. Add the well-washed, quartered orange half to the chicken cavity.

Place chicken in oven and roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Baste the chicken once with the remaining onion mixture after 40 minutes of cooking. The chicken is done when juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. Remove chicken from oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

Cranberry Chicken


Yield: 4-6 servings


1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce

1 cup bottled barbecue sauce


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; brown in a skillet in butter. Remove the chicken to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. In the drippings, saute onion and celery until tender. Add cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce; mix well. Pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1-1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.

Grilled Citrus Chicken Under a Brick



1 cup fresh orange juice

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano

3 teaspoons salt, divided

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 whole chicken (about 3 3/4 pounds), neck and giblets removed, butterflied

1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 1/2 oranges

2 foil-wrapped bricks or 1 cast-iron skillet


Whisk juices, olive oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and garlic in glass baking dish. Add chicken to marinade. Turn to coat; chill 2 hours, turning occasionally. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Mix remaining 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, and pepper in small bowl.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Slice 1/2 orange into 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick slices. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry. Loosen skin from chicken breast and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and breast. Loosen skin from thighs and slide 1 to 2 orange slices between skin and thighs. Rub paprika mixture over both sides of chicken. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill. Place foil-wrapped bricks or cast-iron skillet atop chicken (if using bricks, position 1 brick over top half of chicken and 1 brick over bottom half). Cover and grill until skin is crispy and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove bricks or skillet. Using tongs or 2 large spatulas, turn chicken. Replace bricks or skillet and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes longer. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place whole orange on grill and cook until slightly charred, turning often, about 1 minute. Cut into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over chicken.

Chicken Enchiladas


Servings: 6


3 pounds chicken; 1 whole or 2 large chicken breasts, cooked, and torn into long slim pieces

2 cans cream of chicken soup

8 ounces sour cream

1/2 can chopped green chilies (more or less according to taste)

1 package 10-inch flour tortillas

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the soup, sour cream, and green chilies.

Place cooked chicken onto flour tortillas, distributing it evenly among the tortillas.

Using one half of the soup mixture, pour an even amount onto each chicken topped tortilla. Sprinkle each with cheddar cheese; then roll up the tortillas, and place them in a 9"x13" baking dish. Top with remaining soup mixture and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Cantaloupe Smoothie



1/2 ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks

1 cup skim milk

1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt

1 cup crushed ice

2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste


Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Makes about 4 cups.

Cantaloupe Chicken-Orzo Salad

From' target

Servings: 4


1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta

1 snack-size cup (4 ounces) pineapple tidbits

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt

4 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh mint

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 small cantaloupe, quartered and seeded

1/4 cup unsalted cashews


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, mint, lemon peel, honey, salt, pepper and pineapple juice until smooth.

Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add the chicken, celery, red pepper, onions and pineapple. Add mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat. Serve on cantaloupe wedges. Sprinkle with cashews.

Fresh Cantaloupe with Prosciutto


Serves 8


1 ripe cantaloupe or honeydew melon

16 very thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma or Prosciutto di San Daniele (approx. 1/2 pound)


Cut top and bottom off of melon, then stand it upright on one of the cut ends.

With your knife, peel off rind from top of melon to bottom. When melon is completely peeled, slice it in half. Scoop out seeds using a spoon, then discard.

Cut each half into 8 crescent-shaped wedges, lengthwise.

Wrap middle of each wedge of melon with a slice of prosciutto. Fan out on a platter and serve.

May 26, 2009
Buy fresh produce - no excuses!

Repeat after me, "I will buy fresh fruit and veggies this week because they are healthy, delicious and on sale." Here's why: From berries and cherries to artichokes and avocado, fresh produce is everywhere and at a decent price.

Safeway has BOGO berries (which works out to 2/$5 - not the greatest bargain), cherries for $2.99lb and cantaloupe for 88-cents each. Jumbo artichokes are $1 each and fresh zucchini is 99-cents a pound.

Safeway is also introducing "combo deals," which consist of items that go together. Chips and soda for $1.99; tuna and white bread for $1.99; bacon and eggs for $2.99 and apple juice and cookies for $2.99. Finally, there's strawberries and Angel food cake for $3.99.

Other specials include whole Foster Farms chicken for 79-cents a pound; cooked shrimpmeat for $2.88lb  and London broil for $1.79lb. If you aren't into cooking the whole chicken, the Friday only $5 special is ... ta da... Signature Cafe whole roasted chicken.

Safeway also has all the fixins' for tacos with corn tortillas at $1.89; shredded cheese for $1.99; shredded lettuce for $1 and Rosarita refries for $1 per can.

It's the perfect temperature for Dreyer's Fruit Bars and they're on sale for $3.50 a box; Safeway ice cream is BOGO and Lucerne yogurt is 50-cents each.

 Raley's has the best price on cherries at $2.87 a pound; avocado for $1 each and a 3lb. bag of apples for $2.50.

London broil is $1.97lb; Jeannie-O ground turkey or Italian sausages are 2/$7 and 90% lean ground beef is $3.99lb.

A case of Crystal Geyser spring water is $3.50; graduation cakes are half-price; and fresh-fruit tarts are $14.99.

Buy 4 boxes of Kellog's cereals and pay $1.25 for each one or take a look at Raley's 99-cent sale. The list includes family favorite Michelina's budget gourmet meals; Hunt's diced tomatoes; S&W beans; Blue Ribbon rice; Pillsbury cake mix; Sunnyside Farms lemonade; and Kleenex tissues.

Save Mart has a great coupon thing going this week. Spend $10 and get Iceberg lettuce for 49-cents; Knudsen sour cream for 99-cents; ramen for 10-cents; Pepsi for 79-cents and Bar S lunchmeat for $1.99. Avocado is only 69-cents; artichokes are 99-cents  and Arizona iced tea is $1 a jug. (Just had to keep that A thing going.) Sunnyside Farms chicken breasts in the max pax are $1.99lb. If you prefer already seasoned chicken, check out Foster Farms savory servings for $3.99lb. Tyson game hens are 99-cents a pound.

In produce, cheries are $2.99lb; berries are 2/$5 and a jumbo cantaloupe is $2. Leaf lettuce is 79-cents; Roma tomatoes are 99-cents a pound and yellow onions are 39-cents a pound.

Come back tomorrow for 5 ways to cook those whole chickens and lots of other tasty recipes.


May 21, 2009
Recipes will make the weekend memorable

Whether you are planning a simple picnic in the park or an elaborate backyard BBQ, recipe researcher Sheila Kern has compiled a list of great salads to serve to your guests. And to top off your outdoor gathering , we have chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Enjoy!

First, Ron Demeter, a fan of Shop Cheap and the PR guy at Gallo, sent along this recipe for pasta salad. It's perfect timing because we found salame on sale at Raley's.

Salame Pasta Salad

Yield: 6 servings

10 oz. Gemelli Pasta

1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, small dice

1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper, small dice

3-4 Tbsp. Minced Garlic

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

8 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

1 1/2 cups Gallo  salame, julienne

1/4 cup Basil, thin sliced

Kosher Salt or Table Salt, to taste

Black Pepper, to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Drain and rinse in cold water. In large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fava Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Shaved Cheese


Yield: 4 servings


4 cups shucked fresh fava beans

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound Manchego (or Asiago or Romano) cheese, shaved thinly

2 tablespoons finely chopped flatleaf parsley


Fill a bowl with ice and water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and shock in ice water. Drain again and remove outer skins. Place the beans in a medium serving bowl. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the beans and mix well. Add the cheese, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Fava Bean Relish


Source: Adrienne Meier, Ocean Mist Farms

Serves 8

Wonderful on top of grilled meat, fish or chicken


1 cup cooked, peeled Fava Beans, roughly chopped

1 cup olive oil

1 /3 cup chopped yellow Onion

1 cup peeled and chopped, fresh plum tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste


In medium bowl, stir together Fava Beans, olive oil, Onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve as a dip or as a condiment for main dishes.

Broccoli Salad


Serves 4 to 6


5 cups fresh broccoli florets

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

1/4 cup of red onion, chopped

1 cup of frozen peas, thawed


1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 cup sugar


Combine broccoli florets, raisins, sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl or large cup, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well; chill thoroughly before serving.

Mustard Dressed Potato Salad


Serves 8


6 c. diced cooked potatoes

4 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. salad dressing

3/4 c. finely chopped onion

3/4 c. diced celery

3 tbsp. prepared mustard

1 c. sliced radishes


Chill potatoes. Combine all ingredients except radishes. Refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with sliced radishes.

Summer Fruit Salad




lime juice(optional)


All fruit should be fresh, ripe, and firm. Wash all fruit. Cut melon and pineapple into small wedges. Vertically slice strawberries. Add blueberries. Squeeze fresh lime juice over all to desired taste. Toss and enjoy!

Now for the sweet stuff!

Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies


Yield: 24 brownies


2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into pieces

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

MELT 1 cup morsels and butter in large, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking soda. Stir in remaining morsels and nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 18 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Original NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Chocolate Chip Cookies


Yield: 60 cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.



May 19, 2009
Memorial Day sales to remember

We have a three-day weekend coming up and it looks like the sun will be shining on Sacramento for Memorial Day.

Before we get started with the supermarket deals, there's something I need to say. It's going to sound cranky, but I'm tired of the grocery stores telling me I need to buy three or four or 10 of something or I won't get the super-discounted price. I can deal with the BOGO, but who needs 48 cans of soda? OK, I feel better now.

Back to reality. There's plenty to shop for this week if you are planning a backyard BBQ or picnic in the park.

Let's start with Raley's because they have the most patriotic-looking ad. They also have the "buy 5-8 packs of soda to get the great deal" deal but I'm going to ignore that!

If you're planning a gathering, check out the fresh corn (3 ears for 99-cents); max pack of fresh, pre-made hamburger patties for $1.97lb and 9-inch apple pies from the bakery for $3.97. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.77lb; Ball Park franks are $2 a pack and Sara Lee bakery buns are $2.49 a pack. Seedless watermelon is 29-cents a pound; a 2lb bag of Vadalia onions is $1.99 and Yukon gold or red potatoes are 69-cents a pound.

Nabisco snack crackers are $1.69 a box; Lays chips are BOGO and a 3lb container of Raley's potato or macaroni salad is $4.99. In the drink dept., there's the aforementioned soda, and a case of Aquafina drinking water for $3.99. To add to your BBQ, there's Bush's baked or grillin' beans for $1.69 a can; Rosarita refries for 99-cents a can and Gallo sliced salami for $4.99. To top it all off, Cool Whip is 99-cents a container; Dreyer's ice cream is $2.99 and Yoplait yogurt is 10/$5. Be sure to clip the coupon for Best Foods mayo ($1.99) and grab a loaf of Raley's Hearty varitey bread for $1.99.

And if you're heading to a friend's house, don't forget the holiday bouquet for $6.99.

Over at Safeway, you'll get 50 percent off purchases of hot dogs. Lean ground beef is $3.99lb and Johnsonville brats are $3.99 per package. There's coupons for Best Foods mayo ($1.99); Lay's chips ($1.69 a bag) and Oscar Mayer weiners (2/$1.98). The next best coupon is for a tub of Red Vines for $6.99.

Check out the fresh cherries for $2.99lb; tomatoes on the vine for 99-cents a pound; corn on the cob 3/$1 and green bell pepper for 88-cents a pound.

Foster Farms split chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks are 99-cents a pound. Bush's baked beans are $1.34 a can and Rosarita refries are $1 each. If you're making big burgers, Safeway has "giant" buns for $1.49 a package; Ball Park buns are $1.50 a pack; Vlasic pickles are $2.79; a jar French's mustard is $1.50 and Heinz ketchup is $2.69 for the large size. Tostitos chips are BOGO; snack crackers are $1.88 a box. Arrowhead drinking water is $3.50 a case. Life cereal is $1.99 a box.

For dessert, there's Safeway Select or Lucerne ice cream for $2.50 a container; fresh baked cookies for $2.49; Angel food cake for $2.99 and Lucerne aerosol whipped cream is BOGO.

When it comes time for cleanup, Windex is BOGO; Palmolive dish soap is $1.99 with coupon and Brawny paper towels are $5.99 with coupon.

Before the party gets started, the $5 Friday only special is the 8-piece Signature Cafe chicken. Take-and-bake pizzas are $5 each and deli counter salads are $3.99.

Next stop, Save Mart, where you can get quite the deal on everything from buns (99-cents a package) to Oscar Mayer dogs (some 2/$5; some 3/$5) to Moran's 80/20 hamburger patties - $9.99 for 3 pounds. Strawberries and Doritos are BOGO and there's a 72-hour sale that includes Bush's beans for $1.49 a can; whole seedless watermelon for $3.99 and Sargento shred cheese for $1.79 a package. Nabisco snack crackers are $1.68 a box; Sunnyside Farms dips are 99-cents each and La Mexicana salsa is $2.19 for a 24oz container.

Corn on the cob is 3/99-cents; Fuji apples are 79-cents a pound; Driscoll's raspberries are $3.99 for 12 ounces; green beans are 99-cents a pound and Iceberg lettuce is 99-cents a head. Red onion for your burgers or dogs is 69-cents a pound; Ball Park beef franks are $2.49 a package; meat franks are $1.99. Buns are also $1.99.

Arrowhead drinking water is $3.88 a case; Vitamin water, Gatorade or Propel is $1 each and 12-packs of Lipon ice tea is $4.99. Dreyer's ice cream is $2.99; Breyers ice cream bars are $3 a box and a 5-quart pail of Bayview Farms ice cream is $4.99. Cool whip is 99-cents and cream pies in the bakery are $4.99 each.

Now, another confession: I've been shopping at Winco on a weekly basis because some of their prices are hard to beat.Two gallons of milk for $3.48; 8 ounce container of cottage cheese for $1.18 and cibatta flat bread in the bakery for $1.98. Bananas are a good 20-cents less per pound than the majors and Quaker rice cakes are about half of what you'd pay elsewhere.

Come back tomorrow and we'll have Memorial Day recipes for great salads, chocolate chip cookies and brownies. 



May 14, 2009
Fresh produce, fresh recipes

Farm-fresh produce is starting to appear at local supermarkets. With that in mind, recipe researcher Sheila Kern cam up with an abundance of ideas for fresh fruit and veggies. Enjoy!

Raley's is advertising artichokes from Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville, CA. Here are recipes from their website




2 Large Ocean Mist Artichokes

butter flavored cooking spray, 3 seconds

1 teaspoon BBQ or mesquite seasoning


Start with two large Ocean Mist Fresh Artichokes. Rinse under cold water and trim stem to 1/2-3/4" long. Snip/Trim each leaf with kitchen shears or scissors. Set Artichokes aside.

In a large glass microwavable container microwave 3 cups of water until boiling (about 5 minutes). Place the Artichokes in the dish of hot water with the stem sitting flat in the water. Cover the Artichokes with an inverted pyrex microwavable bowl. Microwave Artichokes on high for 15 minutes. Artichokes are done when you can easily pierce through the stem with a fork.

Remove the Ocean Mist Artichokes from dish and cool until you can handle. Separate leaves from the choke and place loose Artichoke leaves in a gallon food storage bag. (Save the Artichoke Hearts for another healthy dish).

Spray butter or garlic flavored cooking spray on Artichoke leaves and sprinkle with your favorite BBQ or mesquite seasoning. Close bag and shake until leaves are coated. Store in the refrigerator and serve with your favorite dip.

Artichoke Breakfast Burrito


Serves 4


4 cooked Ocean Mist Artichokes - cube hearts and stems only

1/2 pound ham steak, diced

3 cooked Potatoes, peeled and diced

4 large flour tortillas

6 eggs (beaten in bowl)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

salt & pepper to taste

salsa for garnish


Spray large skillet with cooking spray and over medium-high heat, fry ham and Potatoes until heated through and Potatoes begin to brown.

Add Artichokes and salt and pepper to skillet; Stir until well combined. Add beaten eggs to Artichoke and ham mixture, and using a spatula stir until eggs are well set.

Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle top of egg dish with cheese. Warm tortillas on dry skillet over high heat, flipping once to soften tortilla.

Divide egg mixture between 4 large tortillas and roll up burrito style. You may want to wrap each burrito in foil until ready to eat.

Serve these breakfast burritos with your favorite salsa.

Artichoke Caprese Salad



2 cooked artichokes (discarding leaves and choke and slicing the stem bottom and heart into 8 slices).

2 large ripe Tomatoes (cut into 8 slices)

8 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese

8 large fresh basil leaves

balsamic vinegar to taste

olive oil to taste

salt & pepper to taste


On a large serving plate, place alternating slices of tomato, cheese, basil leaf and Artichoke, so each one overlaps the other.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over salad.

Serve with warm crusty bread.

Artichokes with Roasted Garlic-Aioli



3 whole garlic heads

6 Ocean Mist Medium Artichokes, prepared and cooked

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/3 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat

1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


Start recipe with cooking Artichokes by your preferred method.

For Aioli: Remove white papery skin of garlic, making sure not to peel or separate the cloves. Wrap each head separately in aluminum foil.

Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until tender; let cool. Separate cloves and squeeze pulp into a small bowl; discard skins. Mash pulp with a fork; set aside.

Add mayonnaise, yogurt, pepper and salt to mashed garlic pulp; stir well, and serve as a dipping sauce with Artichokes.

Fresh Corn Muffins


Servings: makes 12 muffins


6 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 ear)

2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped


1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the corn and jalapenos, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape onto a plate to cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the buttermilk, egg and the remaining oil and stir until blended. Quickly stir in the corn mixture and pour the batter into the muffin cups.

Bake the muffins for about 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Jalapeno Corn Muffins


Makes one dozen


One 8.5-ounce box corn muffin mix

1/2 cup milk

2 cups fresh corn kernels (3 ears)

4 ounces jalapeno jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, prepare the mix according to the package directions, using the milk in place of water. Stir in the corn, cheese and basil; season with salt and pepper.

2. Grease a muffin pan and fill each cup with batter. Bake until lightly golden, 30 minutes; let cool.

 Fresh Corn Risotto


Servings: 6


6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, very finely chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (12 ounces)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup white corn kernels (from 2 ears)

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the bay leaf. Keep the stock warm over very low heat.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed between additions. After about half of the stock has been added, stir in the corn, then add the remaining stock. The rice is done when it's al dente and creamy, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the cheese and butter; season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Fresh Corn Quiche


Bon Appetit | August 2000

Yield: Makes 6 servings


3 large eggs

1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups half and half

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears) or frozen, thawed

1 deep-dish frozen pie crust, thawed


Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine first 5 ingredients in processor; blend until onion is finely chopped. Add half and half and butter; process just until blended. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in corn. Pour into crust. Bake until filling is slightly puffed and top is golden, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool slightly. Serve warm.

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad


Serves: 4


4 ears fresh corn (for about 2 1/2 cups kernels)

2 medium-size (about 1 pound) ripe tomatoes

3 scallions (for 1/4 cup chopped)

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 lime

Salt and black pepper to taste


Pour water to a depth of 2 inches in a large deep skillet. Place it over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, shuck the corn and remove the silks.

When the water reaches a boil, add the ears of corn (they don't need to be completely covered with water), cover the pot, and bring it back to a boil. Cook the corn at a rolling boil until the kernels are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the corn from the skillet and place it in a colander in the sink. Run cold water over the corn until it is cool enough to handle. Carefully slice the kernels from the corncobs into a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Scrape the cobs with the back of the knife to remove any remaining kernels and milk, adding them to the dish as well.

Core and chop the tomatoes into roughly 1/4-inch cubes, adding them to the dish as you chop. Chop the scallions, including enough of the tender green tops to make 1/4 cup. Add the scallions to the dish. Finely chop the cilantro and add it to the dish. Squeeze the lime juice into the corn mixture and toss well to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve at once or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

Fresh Tomato Salad with Onions, Feta and Olives


yield: Serves 6


5 ripe large tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch-thick rounds

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


Arrange tomatoes on platter. Top with onion slices. Drizzle oil and vinegar over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour. Sprinkle cheese, olives and parsley over salad and serve.


May 12, 2009
Clipping and saving at the supermarket

It takes some work, but if you Shop Cheap, clip coupons and check out the weekly specials, you will save on your grocery bill. This week, it's all about coupons and specials.

You've got to check out the coupons at Raley's where a box of Post cereal is $1.49; Kraft mayo or Miracle Whip is $1.99 and 2-liter Coke is 98 cents.

The fresh produce specials this week at Raley's include large artichokes for 88-cents each and the return of personal size watermelon for $2.99. Tomatoes on the vine are $1.47lb; apples are 89-cents a pound and a 5lb bag of potatoes is $2.49.

Boneless chuck steak or roast is back under 2 bucks a pound ($1.88lb) and Raley's includes a recipe for "Barbecued Pepper Steak." If you are adding dessert to the menu, Angel Food cake in the bakery is $2.99. You can top it off with fresh blackberries (2/$4). Also in the bakery, a twin pack of French bread for $1.49.

Although I've never heard of Aquarius Spring!  water, a 32-pack is $3.98. If you are planning a graduation, birthday or Father's Day celebration, Raley's has good prices on party platters, fruit trays, grourmet wraps and cakes.

Safeway has a 72-hour sale this weekend, including frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.69lb; fresh Pacific snapper for $3.99lb; Signature Cafe chicken tenders for $3.99lb; Doritos for $1.77 a bag and sandwich breads for 99-cents a loaf. They have another great offer if you're not in the mood to cook: a Signature Cafe roasted chicken; two side dishes plus a bag of rolls for $9.99. Toss a salad or heat up some veggies and you've got dinner for $12.

Safeway also has a pretty good cereal deal, but you must buy 5 boxes. Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Honey Nut Cherios will cost you $1.50 each (if you buy 5). Gushers and Corn Flakes are $1; Special K and Honey Bunches of Oats are $2 per box.

Sweet deals in produce include the first California cherries of the season at $3.88lb and BOGO organic strawberries. white corn is 5/$2; tomatoes on the vine are $1.88lb and fresh zucchini is 99-cents a pound.

Safeway coupons include $2 off PrimoTaglio sliced meat or cheese and $5 off deli party trays. Household coupons include Clorox bleach for $1.69; Hefty bags for $1.99 and Lyson cleaners for $1.99.

The 3-day sale in the deli includes Signature Cafe pizza for $3.99; meal-size soups for $2.50 each and garden salads for $4.99.

Lucerne yogurt is 10/$5; Eating Right frozen meals are $2 each; Lucerne natural slices cheese is $2.99 and a case of Safeway Refreshe water is $3.49. (Arrowhead is $3.99). 2-liter Pepsi or 7-UP is 88 cents and Barilla pasta is $1 a box.

Save Mart has the best bread deal in town with their Bohemian Hearth brand for $1.89. A carton of Sunnyside Farms eggs (18-count) is $2. The 72-hour sale here includes tomatoes on the vine for 79-cents a pound; Sunnyside Farms buns for 88-cents a bag and bath tissue for $5.59.

In meat and seafood, fresh ground sirloin is $2.99lb; fresh cooked shrimp meat is $3.59lb. 

Avacados are 99-cents each; fresh strawberries are $3.99 for a 2-lb container; corn is 50-cents an ear; and fresh squash is 77-cents a pound.

In the bakery, party cakes are $4.99 and Bundt cakes are $4.69. A dozen rolls are $1.99 a bag and fresh cornbread is $2.69.

Come back tomorrow for fresh-produce recipes. 


May 6, 2009
Recipes for your Mother's Day brunch

Recipe researcher Sheila Kern has been hard at work in the Shop Cheap kitchen coming up with the perfect items for your Mother's Day Brunch. There is something for everyone, especially Mom. Enjoy!

Mango Berry Fruit Salad


Servings: Six


2 mangos - peeled, seeded, and diced

1 cup reduced fat raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing

8 cups mixed torn salad greens

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup sliced red onion

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 cup fresh blackberries

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts

4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Place 1 mango and the raspberry vinaigrette dressing in a blender, and blend until liquefied.

In a bowl, toss the remaining mango, salad greens, cilantro, and onion. Drizzle with the dressing mixture.

Top each serving with equal amounts of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and hazelnuts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Angelic Cake and Berries


Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Show: 30 Minute Meals Episode: Lean and Mean

Yield: 8 servings


1 cup lemon sorbet

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 pint blackberries

1/2 pint strawberries, sliced

1/2 pint raspberries

1 store-bought angel food cake


Melt sorbet over low heat with zest in a small sauce pot. Stir in berries to coat. Cut cake and pour berries and sauce over top.

Breakfast Pizza


Yield: At least 2 servings


1 tube (4 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls

1/4 pound bulk pork sausage or 4 pork sausage links, sliced

1/2 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed

2 tablespoons diced sweet red pepper

2 tablespoons diced green pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs

2 tablespoons 2% milk

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese


Separate crescent dough into four triangles; arrange on an ungreased 7-1/2-in. round pizza pan with points toward the center. Press onto the bottom of pan, building up edges slightly; seal perforations.

In a small skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle over crust. Top with potatoes, peppers and cheddar cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and pepper. Pour over pizza; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are completely set and top is golden brown. Cut into slices.

Strawberry French Toast


Servings: 10


2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1/3 cup Pure Cane Powdered Sugar

1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut into 1-inch slices

10 eggs

2/3 cup half-and-half cream or heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1/2 cup Granulated Pure Cane Sugar

2 tablespoons water

Maple syrup, optional


In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, strawberries and confectioners' sugar until blended. Spread about 2 tablespoons on one side of half the bread slices; top with remaining bread.

Place sandwiches in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, cream and vanilla. Pour over bread. Turn each sandwich. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

With a slotted spatula, transfer sandwiches to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Discard any remaining egg mixture. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes; turn and bake 10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the strawberries, sugar and water in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve French toast with strawberry sauce and maple syrup if desired.

Overnight Maple French Toast


Servings: 5


2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup maple-flavored syrup

1 tablespoon margarine or butter

10 (1-inch-thick) slices French bread

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups sliced strawberries

1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


1.Spray 13x9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, syrup and margarine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.

2.Pour syrup mixture evenly in bottom of sprayed pan. Arrange bread slices in even layer over syrup mixture. Set aside.

3.In large bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla and salt; beat with wire whisk until smooth. Pour evenly over bread in pan. Cover; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

4.To bake, heat oven to 350°F. Uncover pan; bake 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

5.To serve, top each serving with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries; sprinkle with powdered sugar.



Serves 6-8


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 links Aidells Sun-Dried Tomato Sausage, chopped

1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

6 large eggs

2 cups half and half

6 ounces provolone cheese, grated

freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 375°

In a large pan over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, peppers and half of the basil; stir to combine. Spread sausage mixture into a buttered 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, and half of the cheese. Season with pepper. Pour over the sausage mixture in dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese and basil over the top. Bake until golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


May 5, 2009
It's all about Mom

If you are pressed for time but still want to treat Mom right, just head to your local supermarket. Seriously. Everything you'll need is available at the grocery story. (Note to Moms: If you need to drop a few hints, just share Shop Cheap with the kids or the husband. We'll take care of the rest!)

Back in the day, you could only get groceries at the grocery store. In 2009, the supermarket - especially around any holiday - is the place to go. Flowers? Check. Gift cards? Check. Yummy desserts? Check. An entire brunch? You got it.

If Save Mart is your neighborhood market, you're in luck. There's fresh strawberries for $2.97 for a 2-pound container. A beautiful Mother's Day bouquet for $12.99 and Martinelli's Sparkling Cider is $2 a bottle. (Save Mart is the only chain advertising Martinelli's for Mother's Day. Obviously, they know that the Grannies just love the sparkling cider.)  If you're looking for breakfast treats, Save Mart has 18 large eggs for $2.99 and bacon 2/$5; Dannon yogurt 10/$6; Tropicana OJ 2/$5; Sara Lee sliced breads $1.99 a loaf; iced cinnamon rolls $2.99; and a mixed fruit bowl for $7.99.

If you'd rather treat Mom to a dinner fit for a Queen, try the London broil at $1.99lb; premium romaine hearts (BOGO) and Iceberg lettuce at 99-cents a head. Hothouse tomatoes on the vine are $1.49lb and garlic bread in the bakery is $2.29 a loaf. For dessert, try the decorated cakes at $6.99; Angel food cake at $3.29 or Ben & Jerry's ice cream cups for $1 each.

In the "other stuff" category, there's General Mills cereals for $1.88 a box; Butcher's block boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $2.99lb; BOGO Sara Lee desserts and Michelina's budget meals for $1 each. If you need soda, check out the $2 off coupon (when you buy 2-24 packs) or six packs of Pepsi or Dew for $3.99.

If you want to treat Mom to brunch but need help with the menu, Raley's is your new best friend. They are offering brunch for eight for $49.99 ($5 off if you order online). It includes, ham omelets with asparagus; breakfast potatoes; mini croissants; berry bowls; OJ and Lemon Bar Cake. You probably need to order this pronto and be able to do a little cooking.

If you'd rather cook on your own, a dozen large eggs is 99-cents; Yoplait yogurt is 10/$6 and a fruit wheel in produce is $7.99.

While at the store, you can pick up a lovely bouquet of roses for $9.99 or a gift card to Mom's favorite shop or restaurant or a delicious fresh fruit tart for $14.99.

If you'd rather do dinner for Mom, boneless/skinless chicken breasts are $1.97 a pound in the club pack; strawberries are BOGO; sweet white corn on the cob is 3/99-cents; Strawberry Shortcake in the bakery is $8.99 and Sara Lee desserts are BOGO here, too. Fresh cooked shrimp meat is $4.99lb and bagged salads are 2/$5.

Michelina's frozen dinners are $1 each and if Mom's a baseball fan, Ballpark franks are $2 a package; buns are $2.50; olives are 99-cents a can; pickles are $2.99 a jar and Ruffles chips are $2.99. 

Safeway has Mom covered - especially in the cookie category - with Milano's on sale for $1.77 a package. If you don't think a couple of packs of Milano's won't make Mom happy, think again. You can always add fresh-cut tulips at $6.99, a dozen roses or a special Mother's Day bouquet for $9.99. Safeway also has a fantastic selection of gift cards.

If you're shopping Safeway for brunch, be sure to clip the coupon for large eggs - $1.99 for 18. To complete the meal, there Johnsonville sausage links 2/$6 or Aidells sausages for $4.99; OJ 2/$6; blackberries 99-cents a basket; breakfast breads 2/$4 or a carton of mini-croissants for $5.49. 

Safeway knows that Moms like coupons, especially for Cascade detergent $3.99; Listerine $2.99; disinfecting wipes $1.79 and Kleenex $1 each. There's a coupon for batteries, too. But that's really a guy thing.

If Mom's a burger gal, lean ground beef is $3.99lb; Lay's chips are $3 a bag; and Ore-Ida potatoes are $3.50 a bag. If you've promised to bake Mom a cake, Duncan Hines mixes are buy 2, get 3 free. With a deal like that, you can make her two!

BOGOs are big this week at Safeway. Here's what we spotted: Margaritaville Shrimp; Foster Farms ground turkey breast; Hormel fully cooked entrees; Lucerne whipped cream topping;  and grape tomatoes. 

The best deal in produce is fresh asparagus for 99-cents a pound.

And if you're hungry for the All-American sub sandwich, you're in luck because it's the Friday only $5 special.

Come back tomorrow because the Shop Cheap kitchen is busy preparing Mother's Day Brunch. We promise to share all the recipes.



About Shop Cheap

Pam Dinsmore is The Bee's Community Affairs Director. When she's not working, she's shopping. The goal of this blog is to help you save time and money at the grocery store. She's pretty good at it but she can't do it alone. That's where you come in, sharing your tips and secret methods for saving money. You can either respond to the blog or email her at

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